After removing cycle specific infrastructure on Silver Lonnen in 2010 and Elswick Road in 2012, Newcastle council continues to dismantle existing cycle lanes, now at a school in Heaton.
Katja Leyendecker, chair of newcycling.org, says: “This is almost unbearable to watch how the council is still unable to support sustainable travel options to schools. For example, we are asking them to design in some safe space for cycling for the school run on Tankerville Terrace in Jesmond and they push us back again and again with their excuses. Now they are wiping out an existing cycle lane on Jesmond Park West that was put there to enable cycling to Heaton Manor school. The cycle lane was far from ideal – even comical in places (see inset) – but should be improved rather than demolished.
“What needs demolishing is council silos, not cycle infrastructure.
“But there is another option. However that would mean for council departments to cooperate and work with each other. Jesmond Park West is a through road and hence used as a short cut. There also is a very dangerous junction at the south end with the A1058, Cradlewell bypass over which a busy walking and cycle commuter route also traverses. These conditions might well account for new people finding it rather difficult to cycle to that school or see it as a safe option – the good news is that these conditions could be improved.
“We have asked council’s transport planners to cooperate with their engineering colleagues. These two departments have to start rubbing their heads together. Engineers keep doing their little spot improvements completely in isolation of the surrounding road network. It’s their traffic planning colleagues therefore who should step in and help to look at the whole of the neighbourhood traffic flows including the usability of walking and cycling infrastructure.
“The council must start to see the bigger picture and look at the full network when carrying out their so called road “improvements”.
“When will they be able to function as a whole? So, really, we also ask chief executive of the council, Pat Ritchie, to take the lead on these matters, and give some clear instructions to her directors how to bring about the transport transition mandated by the city’s own transport policies. They seem clueless, or at least that’s what it looks like from the outside looking in.”
This press release is in a response to the report for the Regulatory and Appeals Sub-Committee, see link Report_pre-RASC
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